WCMSA Portal Launched – What Changes Does this Bring to the Industry?

CMS held a town hall meeting on November 29, 2011 to introduce the WCMSA Portal to the general public. 

The WCMSA Portal is a web-based application that allows submitters to electronically submit WCMSA proposals to CMS for review.  It facilitates the upload of submission documents and any additional information that may be requested by CMS.  After submission, the WCMSA Portal will provide updates to the submitter to include 1) where the file resides in the review process (WC Review Center or the applicable Regional Office), 2) current status of the file, 3) access to the submission online, and 4) email alerts notifying submitters when a development or approval letter has been issued, and more. 

Submission of Additional Documentation

During the Town Hall Meeting, Frank Johnson indicated that if a WCMSA Proposal was submitted to CMS via the WCMSA Portal, then all additional documentation should be submitted via the same manner and by the same submitter that uploaded the WCMSA Proposal.

Examples of Additional Documentation include but are not limited to:

  • Development Letter requests where CMS requests additional information such as specific medical records, payment histories, pharmacy ledgers, etc. in order to continue the review of a WCMSA Proposal
  • Finalized Settlement Documents
    • CMS’ standard WCMSA response letter notes; “Approval of this WCMSA is not effective until a copy of the final executed workers’ compensation settlement agreement, which must include this approved WCMSA amount, is received by CMS at the following address….. Note — If this case was submitted using the Workers’ Compensation Set-Aside Web Portal, the final settlement document must be attached and submitted to the case using the Web Portal. See the Case Documents section ’25 – Proposed/Final Settlement Agreement or Court Order’ on the Web Portal case.”
  • MSA Professional Administration Account Activation information, if applicable

Likewise, if a WCMSA proposal was submitted via US Mail to the COBC, all documents will need to be submitted via mail and sent to the COBC’s attention.

NuQuest/Bridge Pointe participated in the testing phase of the WCMSA Portal.  During one of the meetings, it was indicated that CMS intends to eventually move away from the manual scanning of the above mentioned documents via the COBC. 

Review Process Turn Around Times

Per Frank Johnson, CMS’ intentions are to speed the review time as much as possible and submissions of WCMSA Proposals via the new WCMSA Portal may assist in this effort.  They are aware of the existing delays and backlog in the WCMSA review process and indicated that they are making every effort to make the process more current.  (It was noted that the delays have nothing to do with the new contractor.)   

Submissions made via the WCMSA Portal will not be rushed or handled as a priority; they will be handled in the order they are received. 

Non-threshold Submissions

The WCMSA Portal will not permit submissions for cases that do not meet the CMS review thresholds. Trying to do so will result in the closure of the file.

Further, if submission data is manipulated in an effort to submit a proposal that does not meet the review thresholds, CMS will revoke the registrant’s ability to submit cases via the WCMSA Portal and that submitter will need to revert to the original mail method for submissions of future WCMSA Proposals. 

Computer Based Training

Computer based training modules will be posted on the CMS website detailing equipment and information that potential submitters will need to register and submit proposals and any additional information needed for submission purposes.

The Portal is available on the CMS website via the following link: http://www.cms.gov/WorkersCompAgencyServices/12_WCMSAP.asp#TopOfPage

The WCMSA Portal User Guide is available on the CMS website via the following link: http://dev.nqbp.com/sites/default/files/WCMSAUserManual_11-30-2011.pdf

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